ended up goin with the marlin XS7 .308 new with sling and burris 3-9x40 scope for $350. The acutrigger shoots like a dream and the bolts smooth as butter
If I'd seen this thread earlier I would have recommended exactly that. The Marlin is the pick of the litter in inexpensive rifles. You're far better off with a Marlin and a Burris than a more expensive rifle and a cheap scope.